Featured Post

Remembering the Bulls I Never Saw in Pamplona . . .

It's that time of year, when I think about my youth in Spain. I think especially about my great adventure in Pamplona, running from the ...

Saturday, June 30, 2018

A Leftist Nationalist in Mexico? OK

Tomorrow is election day in Mexico.

For what they're worth, in a nation famous for making Chicago elections look like saintly affairs, the polls show Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) as the front-runner. We'll see if the powers that be allow an end to the PRI-PAN duopoly that has governed Mexico during the 21st century, and permit AMLO's coalition, led by his "Morena" party, to win. AMLO, a former moderately successful mayor of Mexico City, is running on a "Mexico First" platform, and promises to do all sorts of things about corruption, the drug war, local wages, protection of farmers, and vague promises about standing up to the USA. AMLO, of course, has run for President twice before, and, probably, got cheated out of the office, at least one of those times.

AMLO has said some extraordinarily stupid things during the campaign as he tries to look lefty and tough, including his call for the Mexican government to defend Mexican and Central American migrants to the USA, calling migration to the USA a basic human right (Note: No, no, it's not). To the extent that the notoriously provincial US media pay attention to Mexico's elections, those sort of comments seem to provoke that media into seeing AMLO's predicted victory as some sort of reaction to Donald Trump--you know, RESIST! Let me be the first to let our media overlords in on a little secret: Not everything that happens in the world is a negative reaction to Donald Trump. Beyond that, while AMLO seems running a leftist campaign, his track record in office is not really all that leftist for Latin America. He did, after all, hire Rudy Giuliani to help him devise an anti-crime program for Mexico City. He has a record of working with the private sector on infrastructure and has mixed views on NAFTA.

AMLO, for the information of our anti-Trump media, is one of the few Mexican politicians critical of Obama-Holder's outrageous "gun-walking" "Operation Fast and Furious" (about which I have written a great deal, here and here, for example) that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of Mexicans and, at least, two US federal agents. Obama and Holder, as readers know, conducted this criminal gun smuggling operation in an effort to blame US gun stores and gun laws for the violence in Mexico. While the US media ignored or lied about the scandal, AMLO actually focussed on it, and his outrage might, if he wins, lead to a severe curtailment of DEA and other US counter-drug operations in Mexico. So Obama leaves us another legacy. Main stream media, focus on that one.

I have spent a lot of time in Mexico both on vacation and in connection with my previous work for the State Department. I love Mexico City and its world-class museums, theaters, and restaurants. I love Mexico's history and encourage everybody to read up on it, especially the Mexican Revolution. The country right now, however, is not one in which I would spend any amount of time. It's a violent mess, perhaps at an almost historic level (pace the Revolution). It's also a country covertly at war with the US. I have written about that before.

If an AMLO administration goes openly lefty and anti-USA, I, for one, would welcome that. I am tired of seeing Mexico referred to as a friend. It's not; it's a country with a very great animus toward and resentment for the US. Might as well have an honest opponent than the long line of past "friends" in the Presidential Palace.

Time to build the wall, end chain migration, close a dozen or more Mexican consulates, and get out of NAFTA. A President AMLO would help us attain those goals.

36 comments:

  1. Well, assuming ALMA wins, the US will win all around. If nothing changes Trump maintains course and policy and we get the border straitened out. Maybe even getting a formal Guest Worker Program instituted (like we had in the 60s before Cesar Chavez got it killed...since it was hurting his Union Masters that he really worked for).
    If he goes hard on crime and revitalizes Mexico's economy, that's less smuggling into the US and more, better jobs for Mexico. Less reason for Mexican's to come to the US, and even an incentive for the ones here (about to lose their government teet benefits) to self deport.
    If he plays hard Left and becomes the Hugo Chavez of Mexico, It provides more incentive to tighten the border and once Mexico's economy completely collapses The US can go in and fix Mexico once and for all (being on our border its much more of a National Security issue than Venezuela or Cuba).

    ReplyDelete
  2. "AMLO has said some extraordinarily stupid things during the campaign as he tries to look lefty and tough, including his call for Mexicans and Central Americans to flood the USA."

    I think the American public has been severely misinformed about what AMLO actually said - probably in the interests of selling more news content.

    If you go back the the start of all of the hoopla - the Daily Caller, you see the quote from AMLO - the partial quote - about how Mexicans "must leave their towns and find a life in the United States".

    Beware of partial quotes. This one is horribly out of context, and is essentially a lie. AMLO is saying that the current ruling group in Mexico has ruined the country for most Mexicans, and that people are now forced by them to go to the USA to try and make a life.

    A site I wouldn't normally quote has a good breakdown of this fiction: https://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/AMLO-Wants-To-Flood-US-Border-With-Immigrants...-NOT-20180626-0015.html .

    I can't figure out who is doing this, or why - over my pay grade, I guess - but AMLO has been demonized here for someone's benefit. It would be good to know for whose.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good point. I will check that out and correct accordingly.

      Delete
    2. I have checked and the quote is still pretty bad. He is asking Mexico to defend all the migrants going to the US and calling on the UN to intervene on their behalf.

      Delete
    3. Yep, I won't argue that point. In fairness, though, he's telling Mexican voters that he will also look out for the welfare of their countrymen who have come here. I don't especially want them here, but I can't fault him for that part.

      I was just a bit incensed that the Daily Caller's main point was that he was encouraging Mexicans to come here in hordes.

      Delete
    4. Well, if you look at the whole quote in Spanish, you'll see he labels immigration to the USA as a basic human right. That's wrong. International law recognizes the right to leave one's own country, but does not establish the right to go any other country.

      Delete
    5. But thanks, I've modified the sentence on ALMO.

      Delete
    6. Yeah, he's a "no borders can trump human need" kind of socialist guy, who's looking for the Mexican peoples' votes.

      But, weirdly enough, he's very much like Trump in many ways. Populist, bombastic, disruptive, and essentially plain-spoken. He strikes me as someone (far-left though he is) who might realistically bond with, and play well with, Trump. So far, every other politician running in Mexico strikes me as the opposite. ALMO's main concern seems to be over making Mexican life worth staying for, as opposed to PRI's and PAN's concern that they appropriate as many of our resources as possible. It makes me think that, socialist or not, his election might be the best for us.

      I hate ALMO's politics, but someone else (the ones behind this misquoting) hates him more, for reasons I'm not seeing.

      I guess I just hate the idea that we might be being played by someone.

      Delete
    7. Well, if you look at the whole quote in Spanish, you'll see he labels immigration to the USA as a basic human right. That's wrong."
      DEAD WRONG!
      And 'd bet there are enough Spanish Americans, in country, to make it so!
      OW~~~
      "Let's Roll"

      Delete
    8. If Lopez Obrador sees immigration to the USA as a basic human right, hammer at him about the way Mexico treats people from Central America who illegally enter via Chiapas. Point out as well that >60% of Central American women and girls passed illegally to the USA via Mexico get raped somewhere in Mexico. This is one reason why I hope the organizers of that "caravan" get arrested for human trafficking, and have the proverbial book thrown at them.

      Delete
  3. Oh, sorry, I should be clear - when I say that "AMLO has been demonized here for someone's benefit", I don't mean "here" - on this site. I mean in this episode.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I hope I'm wrong, but I'm old enough to remember ... and I am getting an eerie flashback to the early days of Castro's reign when he promised Cibans (and the US) that he was benign and going to fix things ... and he did ... with bullets and blood.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. well, the good part about it George, and I was present and accounted for on the blockade, the Soviets got a wake up call that they haven't yet been able to stop the ringing in their babushka's!
      OW~~~

      Delete
  5. "Distant Neighbors: A Portrait of the Mexicans" is also a good read.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Without illegal immigration, our population will fail. Americans aren't having children anymore.
    I think liberals see this as a bigger gap for them because liberals are much worse off in reproduction than conservatives, but conservatives aren't fully compensating either.
    Liberals should just start having kids. They won't be so stupid afterwards, as they're almost certain to become conservative in the aftermath.

    I don't like the truth here, but that doesn't make it other than the truth, at least in my opinion.

    - reader #1482

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So, please do tell Meester .1482, what you got against legal immigration? Your "truth" seems a bit contrived, regardless of what your liberal subset does... ;)
      On Watch~~~

      Delete
    2. Frankly, I don't have a problem with legal immigration. My chief concern about immigration is the loss of control over our borders due to winking at illegal immigration, and allowing Mexico to use us as a safety valve.

      Delete
    3. I am a former consular officer, charged with issuing all manner of immigrant and non-immigrant visas and I DO have a problem with legal immigration....as Congress and previous administrations have handled it. I served in Manila in the early 90s in the wake of the 1986 amnesty (it was then the largest US embassy in the world) and in Montreal and Guangzhou, China. I saw lots of abuses of the legal immigration system, both in regards to amnesty cases based on fraud as well as employment-based visas. I would love to see the US move away from "Family reunification" which in my mind does not mean picking up most of the inhabitants of a small village and transplanting them to the US over time. A merit based system such as what Canada and other countries employ would be a much better way to go. And don't even get me started on "diversity visas".

      Delete
    4. I hear you Sarah. I served at Guangzhou, too, and made trouble for things I thought were abuse rather than bonafide cases. There was even a case I sent back to INS (back in the olden days) because I thought a young lady in NY was trying to help a snakehead gang import its muscle via fiance petitions. I'm also guilty of keeping a family apart because I told a father (from NY, via Fuzhou) that his discernible income was way too low to prevent his children from becoming public charges (is that provision still present in our immigration law?), and since there were people in Fuzhou caring for the kids, they'd be better off staying home. But that's part of the job, and why we have to have people administering whatever laws are passed.

      We're probably on the same page re the "diversity visas", aka "Irish Sweepstakes".

      For the benefit of consular outsiders, the term "Irish Sweepstakes" was coined because people noted that the late Sen. Teddy Kennedy awoke in dismay to see that his new immigration law wasn't replenishing the Irish and Italian immigrant ghettos on which a number of urban Democratic machines once depended.

      I curse Canada's merit-based immigration system. It's why all those loudmouths who promised to leave if Trump was elected are still here.

      Delete
    5. might be getting misunderstood here... I abhor the queue-jumping nature of illegal immigration. it just makes sense as a progressive agenda... from the perspective of a progressive. they're not going to have kids themselves, but they need more voters, and think their largesse in giving away the future of the country to those who would laugh at our border laws will be repaid with voting support. I don't think that's true, but I understand the illogic.

      What would happen to the California real estate market without the continuing, massive influx of illegal immigrants? The demand for housing on the low end would flop, and that would bring down the rest of the market, might even start another meltdown.

      Worth it if it happens? Yes. But not going to be cheap.

      - reader #1482

      Delete
    6. If Liberals start having more kids, what will become of Planned Parenthood?

      Delete
  7. Should liberals start having kids? Well, to quote Mark Steyn, "The future belongs to those who show up". If the liberal gene disappears over time, that can only be considered as a Good Thing.

    Do we really need a large population to balance the books on the Social Security Ponzi scheme? In an age where one of the big fears is that increasing automation will eliminate many jobs? Instead of encouraging illegal immigration (as the Democrats and institutional Republicans seem to want to), why not roll back excessive regulation to encourage economic growth? A smaller more productive working populations could perhaps produce enough value to support the retirees as well as themselves.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, when I make a few bucks as a freelance translator (Chinese-English; editing English-Chinese), about 50% goes to local, state, and national governments, since, as a self-employed person, I'm supposedly a vicious exploiter of the working poor.

      Delete
  8. I'll dissgree with you. AMLO is a hard core leftist that toned down a bit his message probably to appeal to a wider audience. Ih he wins expect Mexico's economy to go downhill with the consequent violence and migration increase.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You might be right. I am just not sure of how much of what AMLO says he will do, he will actually do. In addition, a leftist, openly anti-US president in Mexico will help galvanize this country to do things it should have done decades ago,

      Delete
    2. yeah.. good point... it's probably the worst thing that could happen for Mexico.. and the best thing that could happen for the US.. at the same time.

      Delete
    3. I've long thought the U.S. should demand the U.N. impose sanctions on Mexico for their ongoing invasion of our country. I wouldn't expect that organization to comply, but the refusal would give us grounds for terminating our membership.

      Delete
  9. Generally agree, but I'm not so sure I am against "chain migration".

    There have been cases in which the cluster of schools of which I am part get hit with a large, hairy extended clan on kids needing ESOL instruction. This happened because someone became a US citizen and filed for his sibs to immigrate. The cases all come due, with spouses and minor children attached, and since nobody has a criminal record or seems unable to work, they hit our school cluster like a herd of elephants. Yet, this being said, all those uncles, aunts, cousins, and whatnot often act as a stabilizing influence in the childrens' lives, and having a few cousins whose first language (or very thoroughly learned 2d language) is English makes the ESOL teachers' job a little easier.

    I have also met a Mexican immigrant (legal) whose chief gripe with the USA was that we failed to annex everything down to Chiapas back in 1847. He had a rather jaundiced view of how his old country was run.

    ReplyDelete
  10. You know the Left has the idea that all these illegals they want in our country will automatically vote for the Left en Bloc. I wouldn't be that sure if I was them.

    ReplyDelete
  11. The US should demand the UN do their job and build refugee camps at the south and north ends of Mexico to house all the refugees until it is safe for them to return home. Mexico can host them.

    ReplyDelete
  12. If there is to be no border, maybe the US can begin annexing Mexico's northern provinces, kill off all the cartel boys and their paid for politicians, and begin making something out of northern Mexico. Then proceed south.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There might be Mexicans who'd like the idea, provided our annexation made them citizens.

      Delete
  13. There's a reason one of the most popular mayors of Mexico City was General Winfield Scott. Just sayin'.

    ReplyDelete